Raid: Kristen Ashley

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Hanna Boudreaux has lived in the small town of Willow, Colorado all her life. The great-granddaughter of the town matriarch, she's sweet, cute and quiet.

Too quiet.

Hanna has a moment of epiphany when she realizes her crush for forever, Raiden Ulysses Miller, is not ever going to be hers. She sees her life as narrow and decides to do something about it.

Raiden Miller is the town of Willow's local hero. An ex-marine with the medal to prove his hero status, he comes home, shrouded in mystery. It takes a while but, eventually, Hanna catches his eye.

But after all these years of Raid and Hanna living in the same town, the question is, why? Is Raid interested in Hanna because she's sweet and cute? Or does Raid have something else going on?

The other books in the Unfinished Hero Series are KNIGHT and CREED

Kim's rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Raiden Ulysses Miller. An amazing name for an amazing man.

Hanna has had a crush on Raiden since she was six years old and he was nine. She lived her life in their small town trying to get noticed by him until one day she stopped trying. And that was the beginning and when he finally noticed. 

Hanna is a mild mannered, good girl, bookworm. She takes care of her Great-Grandma and knits afghans. Raid was her biggest hobby next to reading and knitting. She lived a quiet life. But then decided she needed to spread her wings a little and make some changes. 

I was living a narrow life and that narrow life made me uninteresting. Boring. Nothing. I was twenty-eight years old and my great-grandmother, who had lived nearly a century, had a more active, fun-filled life than I did. This was insane....It was more insane than falling in love from afar with a nine year old boy..It was more insane than harboring that crush all through high school and even when he was away for years. It was certifiable. 
"And now it's done."

Raid is an ex-Marine and a true Kristen Ashley alpha. No one writes hot, swoony, sexy, sweet alpha males like KA. He is bossy, controlling, hot tempered, and damaged. He knows what he wants when he wants it. But he is also protective, loving, and not afraid to share how he really feels. I loved how he reassured Hanna and helped her build her self esteem. I liked it that even though he had control issues especially in the bedroom, he took Hanna's feelings into account and tempered his needs accordingly. He is rough around the edges, crude, but sweet and gentle too. To me he was a combination of Cabe "Hawk" Delgado(Mystery Man), Kane "Tack" Allen(Motorcycle Man) and Knight all rolled into one hot package. 

His shoulders so broad you could plant a tabletop on them and it would hold steady. Thick thighs. Sinewy, veined forearms. Big, rough hands. Phenomenal. And those eyes...His entire unbelievably handsome face and his thick, overlong hair seemed to exist in order to be a frame for those magnificent eyes.

"Girls prefer to be sexy and hot and, maybe mysterious"
"You've got the first two down, Hanna. And I don't know about other men, but I've played games, and in the end found out what I won wasn't worth the trouble of winning. Prefer to be with a  woman who's cute and shy and obviously into me. Means I can save time to get straight to to shit that matters."

It was fun seeing Hanna try to come to terms with Raid's attention. He thought her dorkiness was cute. It was like she had to keep pinching herself to see if it was real. When your dreams are finally starting to come true, it can be quite a shock. Of course, dreams and reality are not always the same. Raid is all wrapped up in his past demons and hidden danger. 

"No, I was going to do it because he was Raiden, a gentleman, a hero. A man who was a boy, went through terrible things and came out amazing because that was just who he was and he deserved someone who cared enough to put the effort in to fix him."

Together they were hot, passionate, and combustible. Raid brought out Hanna's wild side. I never doubted his feelings for her or that he was with her for the long haul. Even when they had communication issues and misunderstandings, I wanted them together. There were times that I was mad at them both and was anxious about them handling their situations. 

"Hanna, honest to Christ, you think out there I get you dorky, head on my shoulder at a movie, holding my hand, riding that preposterous bike, smilin' sweet at me, totally Peggy Sue throwback from the fuckin' fifties, and in my arms, my mouth on yours, you ignite for me. You lose all fuckin' control. Give me fuckin' everything. And I 'm gonna let you crawl outta my bed and go home? No fuckin' way....It's good you give me that. I want that. And I'm fuckin' beside myself knowin' you didn't give some other asshole that before me. It's mine. I'm keepin' it."

Raid is a true unfinished hero in his personal life and professional life so it is not all sunshine and rainbows. But I totally fell in love with him. Just the way he spoke so honestly, his rough terminology,his unwavering determination and use of "Babe" and "honey" just made me swoon. And Hanna found here own sense of strength and empowerment. She would not give up on him. Together they made such a sweet, strong, couple that brought out the best in each other.

“Whether you got that in your bed before you go or hope to find it when you get back, that’s why you do it. You do it for her. You do it to keep her safe…. You get home in one piece, she’s your reward.”
"You're my reward, Hanna."

I liked their little town of Willow, Colorado. Her Great-Grandma Miss Mildred was a pistol! You have to love the fat cat Spot, his sister Rachelle, and his family. And of course,  I enjoyed seeing Knight, Anya, Creed , and Sophie again from the first two books Knight and Creed

It was shorter than most previous KA books, but it felt complete to me. I love that KA gives us epilogues. They always make me happy. 

Tammy's rating:
4 out of 5 stars

I absolutely ADORED Raiden Miller! He was KA's typical alpha male and I have been dying for her brand of addiction. She did not disappoint with Raiden. Hanna, however, it took me some time to connect with her. She annoyed me at the very beginning with her repeating every other sentence. Made her seem kind of air headed although after a few chapters she grew on me. Once we got past the repeating she had some back bone and I was proud of her when she stood up to him. 

I ended up enjoying them as a couple, but I wanted and needed more from them separately and together. Raid had such a mysterious background that KA eluded too throughout the story, and I wanted her to delve deeper than what she did into it. We saw bits and pieces, but nothing actually concrete. Not knowing what happened with his military unit brought the book down to enjoyable for me.

Normally Kristen would show us the hero's deep dark secret, but with Raid we didn't get that and it made it a bit hard to connect on a deeper level with his character and understand his behaviors. While I enjoyed it a lot I wasn't totally in love with it as I have been with previous books. Something was just missing.

Kristen Ashley Facebook/Website/Goodreads
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!). 

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. 
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

1 comment:

  1. The Unfinished Hero Series is Amazing. I like the idea of a "Hero" in a non-tradiional sense. Men doing good deads that may not always conform to what society deams as "appropriate" or "acceptable". When you look at the bigger picture it is definately Hero worthy.


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